Considering how many competitive accounting firms there are in this industry, how would you differentiate your firm?
Branding is an intangible asset that plays an important role for business-to-business (B2B) companies just as it is for business-to-consumer (B2C) companies. By developing your unique value proposition (UVP) and communicating it clearly, you would make clients find your firm first, and ultimately consider you.
Here are some things you can do in branding your accounting firm:
· Differentiate the Experience
Unless you serve a particular niche market, don’t spend too much time emphasizing your service, especially if it is considered a commodity, because it is not your UVP. Clients won’t pay a premium price for these since they can be procured from anyone. Instead, focus on the experience or the WAY you deliver your services. Experiences are unique, products aren’t.
· Develop a Buyer Persona
You already have a target audience – accountants – but what are their specific needs? You will only be able to specialise your services if you understand the pain points of your clients. Developing a detailed buyer persona helps you understand what your clients really want and need and how to give it to them.
· Own Power Words
How do others describe your firm? The word usually associated with your firm is your perceived quality which is easily attributed to your brand. For example, cloud software Panalitix uses the words “real time” when describing accountants and accounting services because they want to highlight how they respond and take action immediately.
· Prioritise Communication and Trust
In our previous blog, we discussed how intangible factors such as communication and trust topped the list on what drives firms to outsource their critical services. These non-technical skills prove to be critical factors for businesses when engaging professionals from outside. When specialist skill categories become more standardised, softer skills become important differentiators.
· Be Client-Centred than Firm-Focused
Your potential client already has a list of options, and your goal is to make him feel that you understand his needs better than anyone else. Model your firm around your client’s needs rather than the services you offer. Clients come to you because they don’t understand their numbers, so you should show them how you can help rather than throwing accounting terms they barely comprehend.
· Aim High
Apart from a vision. Your firm should have a BHAG or a big hairy audacious goal to encourage your company to focus on the same objective. According to James Collins and Jerry Porras, authors of Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies (where the terms were proposed), “A true BHAG is clear and compelling, serves as a unifying focal point of effort, and acts as a clear catalyst for team spirit. It has a clear finish line, so the organization can know when it has achieved the goal; people like to shoot for finish lines.”
Branding has a strong influence on your positioning strategy as an accounting firm. By differentiating yourself, you would set apart your business and stand out from the competition.
The Outsourced Accountant supports Australian and New Zealand accounting firms by helping them understand and implement outsourcing solutions to help them become more proactive and truly add value to their clients. If you want to know more about outsourcing, call us at 1300 896 522 / 0800 452 853, and download our e-book.